In the Know
At H3 Medical, keeping our clients up-to-date with the latest health news is one of our priorities.
We will be sharing more updates on COVID plus any other health related information.
Please share with your loved ones so that they are protected as well.
New Antibody Test Differentiate Infection from Vaccination
Date: Mar 28th, 2022
New antibody test now available that can differentiate infection from vaccination (for those who were vaccinated with BioNTech).
For those of you looking for an easy to read app that shows real-time updates on COVID affected buildings or areas you will find this useful.
Omicron and Vaccines
Date: Feb 4th, 2022
Dr Lau shares highlights from a recent talk by Professor Lau Yu Lung, chair professor of Pediatrics at HKU, who chairs a scientific committee on vaccine preventable diseases and heads Covid research and vaccine studies on children and teens in Hong Kong. The video will be focused on Omicron and vaccine response.
Which Vaccination is Best for Your Child?
Date: Feb 4th, 2022
In this video we will look at the safety and effectiveness of the two vaccine choices available in HK and local research and data about them.
In Hong Kong we have the option of CoronaVac (Sinovac) which is based traditional technology of growing large quantities of whole virus (in this case using African green monkey kidney cells - vero cells) then inactivating it through soaking in a chemical that binds to its genes while leaving other viral particles intact, then mixed with aluminium hydroxide which helps create a stronger immune response.
The inactivated virus then triggers the immune system to create antibodies against the spike protein but also N and M proteins.
Or we have Comirnaty (BioNtech) made with relatively newer mRNA technology for vaccines but in development for decades.
DNA that codes for the spike protein is cloned in the lab by infusing them into E. coli bacteria. The bacteria is killed and the desired DNA product purified and used as a template to build the desired mRNA strands, which are then combined with lipid nanoparticles. Your body reads the code and makes copies of the spike protein. Your immune system detects these spike proteins and makes antibodies to protect you. The genetic code is then broken down and quickly removed from the body. It cannot affect or interact with your DNA or genes. mRNA vaccines never enter the nucleus of the cell which is where our DNA is kept.
In this video we talk about safety and effectiveness of these two vaccine choices
Which Vaccine I Chose for My Children
Date: Feb 4th, 2022
So we have the traditionally made CoronaVac with far fewer side effects but also a suboptimal antibody response for Omicron, however antibodies to more than just the spike protein are made and these may confer benefits, and a good if not better T cell response to prevent again severe disease. We have Comirnaty made with newer mRNA technology, the first of its kind to be actually used, no viruses involved just coding for the spike protein. Better antibody response but not long lasting. More international data but also more side effects. Which to choose?
Omicron and COVID Vaccination in Children
Date: Jan 27th, 2022
The Hong Kong Pediatric Society shared more information on COVID Vaccination in Children via webinar early January. [Video in Cantonese]
A collaborative study between the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has shown that bifidobacterium adolescentis, a unique gut bacterium, is correlated with improving the effectiveness of inactivated and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines available in Hong Kong. The researchers recruited 138 citizens 18–67 years of age between April and August 2021.
Results showed that individuals who lacked B. adolescentis had a suboptimal antibody response.
“This is the first human study to provide evidence that gut microbiota modulates vaccine response, with two possible mechanisms,” said Dr Hein Tun of the School of Public Health, HKU. This is consistent with the earlier finding that probiotic with higher dose B. adolescentis showed a better antibody response and earlier reduction of symptoms among COVID-19 patients.
Although B. adolescentis is demonstrated to be the key to modulating the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, 85% of the Hong Kong population either had very low level (34.1%) or did not have (50.4%) B. adolescentis in the gut. “Many health supplements in the market contain bifidobacterium. However, very few of them specifically contains B. adolescentis. As this bacterium is very sensitive to environmental conditions, including oxygen, high temperature and humidity, special technology is required to preserve this bacterium for dietary supplementation,” explained Ng.
B. Adolescentis can be found in the G-Niib product, the low dose is available in stores and the high dose through your doctor.
Non-Invasive Colorectal Cancer Screening
Date: Nov 8th, 2021
Colorectal Cancer is one of most common types of cancer in Hong Kong.
Recently I have been interviewed regarding options for screening and preventive measures against the colorectal cancer. Also worth sharing is that there is now a non-invasive screening available that can assess the risk level of colorectal cancer.
Here is the written article (in Cantonese) about colorectal cancer and the non-invasive test: Link and Screen Capture
This interview has been conducted in Cantonese. If you prefer more information in English, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
HKU COVID Study on Teens Update
Date: Sept 18th, 2021
So just come back from the third or fourth blood draw as a participant of the HKU COVID study on teens. Had a chance to have an informal chat with Professor Lau who's been spearheading all of this research and working tirelessly for the last five months and wanted to share with you the main points gleaned from him.
It's been announced that teens in HK only need one shot of Biontech. Why? Well their research has shown that the antibody response in teenagers is both good and fairly long lasting. Myocarditis rates though low (one in a few thousand), were higher than expected, approximately 80% of this side effect occurs after the 2nd dose and 80% of the time in boys. So one dose generally provides good enough protection whilst minimising the risk of myocarditis.
HKU COVID Study: Protection level
Date: Sept 18th, 2021
Another update I wanted to share after my informal chat with Professor Lau is that the vaccine protective effect remains high. Although with the delta variant, protection levels with BioNTech are not in the 97% range. Still the protective levels are in the high 80% and that is really reassuring after all these months tracking the antibody response to the spike protein. We can see that after many months, the protection levels remain high for those who have had BioNTech.
What about those who've had Sinovac and would their levels dropped to an undetectable level? Does that mean they no longer have protection? The research laboratories can track the t-cell response and it seems that the t-cell response (which is another part of our immune system) is quite robust. For those who have had Sinovac vaccine, that should be reassuring too.